The other day a friend of mine asked me a very sobering question:
“If God is so angry with our sin then why did he choose to come down here to die for us?”
I want to take a moment right now to apologize. If you’ve ever been treated poorly by church people, then I’m truly sorry. If you’ve been taught or heard that God is some angry being that can’t wait to punish us for our sins, then that saddens me, and again I’m sorry.
It’s easy to see why some people are turned off from Christianity or even God. Christians are human, and in their effort to be good, sometimes they become arrogant and self-righteous. They become judgmental and cruel. This is very different from the way God has called us to be, and it is very different from the nature of the God we worship.
As you prepare for a time of year that is religious in so many ways, I’d like to take a moment to clear up some things.
First of all, God is not angry. We are people who sin. The bible shows us how we all have sinned, and sin has its consequences, but consequences do not equal anger. Anger brings reaction and oftentimes in shameful ways, but with God there is no reaction. He chose before the creation of the world how to save us from ourselves – how to take away our sin. Our sin grieves him like a father who deeply loves his children. God is not an angry master trying to keep his slaves in line. He is our Father, and no father has ever loved his children to the extent that God loves you.
The bible says that Jesus came to die because God loves us…not because He is angry with us. God is love.
Second, when people claim to live for Jesus as Christians yet don’t show love to their fellow man then that is hypocrisy. God has given Christians two laws: Love God with everything you are and everything you have, and Love your neighbor (everyone else) as yourself. The bible isn’t a rule book. It’s a commentary on how to fulfill those two laws.
Not all Christians are mean-spirited and judgmental. Your negative experiences with Christians are representative of a minority – not majority – of Christians in our world. And if they don’t show love to you – no matter where you’ve come from or what you’ve done – then they still have room to grow too.
In fact, the nature of the fact that we are all human shows that we are not better or worse than each other. We are merely different. We are all going through different journeys, and God has sent salvation to all of us because of his great love for us through one God-man, Jesus the Christ. So, if a Christian is having a bad day, then chalk it up to the fact that they are human too.
There is a popular phrase out there today that says “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” And that’s the truth.
This Christmas season, as many people celebrate the birth of their savior who came over 2000 years ago to a small stable in Bethlehem, may you find it in your heart to seek God – the God of love – and give Christians another chance. I encourage you to find a church this holiday season where you can worship with others and experience the love that Jesus has given them reflected to you. If you’d like to know more about this God of love then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at the church of Christ at 505-334-6626. God bless you all, and Merry Christmas!